Signalling - Articles and news items
Issue 3 2008, Past issues / 28 May 2008 /
In 2005, the Danish railway experienced a major crisis, suffering massive delays due to poor track standards and failing signalling systems. Two issues were behind the problems; the railway had been, and was, under-funded and there was a significant lack of technical and managerial control of the infrastructure. Lack of control working in concert with money shortage led to an accelerated degradation.
As chance will have it, this crisis surfaced into public view in 2005 – two years after a much celebrated political agreement for the future railway from 2005 – 2014. This means that Rail Net Denmark, the state owned railway asset management company, was then facing general political mistrust. This fact was further augmented by multiple critical reports from the state auditor.
Issue 2 2008, Past issues / 8 April 2008 /
European cities are linked by an increasing amount of high-speed transport routes that satisfy growing demand for mobility. Ecological and economical/political aspects are also of immense importance to the expansion of the European high-speed transport network.
The Netherlands’ connection to the high-speed network takes Europe another step closer to a form of safe, reliable and border-free mobility, satisfying very stringent ecological and economic requirements.
Issue 1 2008, Past issues / 29 January 2008 /
Infrabel, the Belgian railway infrastructure management company, is investing in the modernisation of its network control centres in a number of stages. The new Traffic Control centre and the concentration of signal boxes are two important projects in this context. In an interview with European Railway Review, Eddy Clement, Director General of Infrabel Network, talks about Infrabel’s planning, strategy and investment regarding this modernisation project.
Issue 3 2007, Past issues / 6 June 2007 /
Banedanmark face great challenges in the coming years. New funds from the Danish government will make it possible for Banedanmark to renew large parts of the Danish State rail network over the next seven years. Another huge challenge is a total renewal of the entire signalling system introducing an ERTMS based system in Denmark.
The Danish Railway has been facing great challenges over the past five years. A major part of the rail network dates back to the 60s and 70s and despite great efforts to maintain the network, the poor condition of tracks, signals and other infrastructure elements have caused major problems for train traffic across the country.
The problems come at a time when the need for transport in Denmark is constantly and rapidly increasing. Statistics show that the population’s need to move over longer distances is growing. Though the number of train passengers being transported on the Danish rail network has increased over the last 10 years, the increase in road traffic has been even larger. It is therefore urgent that something has to be done about the rail network in order to make train transport more attractive, not least for environmental reasons. (more…)
Issue 3 2007, Past issues / 6 June 2007 /
Since March 18 2007, the European Train Control System (ETCS) has been in full operation on Switzerland’s backbone of the railway network. The newly built Mattstetten – Rothrist line between Bern and Zurich is the core of the Rail 2000 concept. The new 42km section is used by 242 passenger trains and more than 30 freight trains a day travelling at speeds of up to 200km/h at operational headways of less than two minutes. The Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) is the first railway in the world to successfully introduce a highest density mixed traffic operation applying ETCS Level 2 and GSM-R voice.
Switzerland is an export oriented country. A high percentage of the Swiss industrial production is exported to the surrounding countries, mainly to Germany and Italy. Most of the heavy goods are transported by train. In addition, Switzerland is one of the geographical pivot points of Europe, as the shortest way from northern Germany to Italy passes through Switzerland. Therefore, a large proportion of the Trans European freight is transported over the Swiss railway infrastructure. (more…)
Industry Focus 2007, Past issues / 29 December 2006 /
Signalling, train control and communication installations are all important assets for modern railways and they contribute significantly to performance and quality of passenger and freight train services. Over the last few decades they have been the subject of deep conceptual and technological changes.
Issue 4 2006, Past issues / 28 July 2006 /
At the beginning of the 1990s, and due to the occurrence of some heavy accidents, ÖBB began to look for a new train protection system to fit the requirements of an increased traffic capacity on the lines and as a result of this, the necessity to increase safety on the whole network of ÖBB. Subsequently, ÖBB started evaluating different products existing on the market.
At this time, the system development of ERTMS/ETCS had started but no products where available. As a future member of the European Union, Austria was invited and forced by the Commission to participate in the development process of ERTMS/ETCS.
The Hungarian State Railways, MÁV Co, and ÖBB – as possible future users of the new system – together with the industry partners Alcatel Austria, Ansaldo, Alstom, CSEE Transport and ARSENAL research, as an independent body, first started operational trials of an ETCS Level 1 system in Europe in 1999 on a section of the Vienna-Budapest line covering sections in Hungary and Austria. The successful finalisation of those operational tests consequently lead to a project to install ETCS Level 1 on the complete Vienna-Budapest line. The Austrian part of the project for the 67km line section from Vienna to the Hungarian boarder station Hegyeshalom started in 2001 and the implementation was finished in 2005. The ETCS system is interfaced with three different kinds of interlocking (two type relay-interlocking and one type electronic interlocking), within the project the ETCS system has been installed on 13 double traction locomotives of the type 1116 (Taurus). (more…)
Issue 2 2006, Past issues / 3 April 2006 /
In 1995, Deutsche Bahn decided to amalgamate and extensively automate its train scheduling and interlocking control operations by creating seven dedicated competence centres.
The objective of the restructuring was to meet the need for comprehensive modernisation of the interlocking systems especially those used in the east of Germany, whilst at the same time realising major increases in quality and substantial levels of staff rationalisation. This marked the birth of Deutsche Bahn’s operations control centres (OCCs).
In 1994, Deutsche Bahn AG was created through the merger of the former West German Bundesbahn and the East German Reichsbahn. From the point of view of train dispatching, it was only natural that the fifteen regions created by the merger should be transformed into the seven DB operations control centres. To capitalise on the very positive experience gained in the first half of the 1990s with computer-aided train monitoring, the operations control centres were designed to have responsibility for larger areas with a reduction in the total number of organisational interfaces requiring process coordination and synchronisation.